Writings on life, love, the mind, stress, anxiety, distraction,
and living skillfully in the modern age.

The Modern Mind is Distracted, Stressed, and Overwhelmed: Here's How to Relax

burnout energy mindfulness Feb 24, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

We live in a world that seems to have forgotten how to relax.

At work, we rush from one meeting to the next. We use the microscopic gaps in our day to fire off emails and texts. And we frantically try to complete all the items on our to-do list by the end of the day, and mostly fail.

At home, we finally have the space to take a breath and relax. And yet most of the things we do to take the edge off the day keep us stimulated and caught in this "always on" state: social...

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Want to Know the Real Reason You're So Distracted? Harvard Scientists Have the Answer

Originally published in Inc. Magazine

When it comes to how to be more focused and less distracted, we've got things inside out.

We tend to think that we are distracted because of the devices in our pocket, Instagram, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, and the thousands of other notifications beckoning for our attention.

But according to the research of two Harvard psychologists, the real problem isn't our chaotic environment, its our minds.

Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel...

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The Art of Working With – Not Against – Fear and Anxiety

anxiety mindfulness Feb 14, 2020

Many of the traditions see autumn as the time of year when fear and anxiety reach their apotheosis.  Halloween.  Elections.  Falling leaves.  Wind.  Grey skies.  Which is why now might just be the perfect time to talk about the nature of fear. 

Throughout my life, fear and anxiety have been constant companions.

In fact, I think it’s fair to say that much of my motivation for mindfulness practice springs from an almost primal urge to placate fear and...

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Is There A Cure For Social Media Mind?

Following the 2016 Election, I stopped using social media for two reasons:

  1. The fact that a foreign entity manipulated American public opinion and undermined the legitimacy of the democratic process using these tools
  2. The fact that numerous studies have linked time spent on social media with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

In recent months, however, I came to the realization that the modern professional often has to engage in these spaces.  These tools, after all, help us...

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The Cost of Time - How Much Would You Pay to Have More Time?

The people I know who seem to have it all still lack one thing.  Time.

In just about every conversation I have these days, I hear people complaining about the scarcity of time. “I’m crazy busy,” “I’m grinding,” “I’m back-to-back all day,” “I’m slammed,” they say.

My life is no different. I often feel that I’m trying to cram 2 days worth of activities and events into a single 24-hour period – trying to make space...

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I Burned Out 10 Years Ago -- Here's How Mindfulness Brought Me Back

10 years ago, I lived what appeared to be a perfect life.   I had recently married my high school sweetheart.  I was one year short of completing my PhD.  And I was on the fast track to realizing my dream of becoming a professor of political philosophy.

On paper, everything was perfect.  Marriage – check.  Friends – check.  Long list of academic degrees – check.     

But in my mind, everything was a...

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Try This Science-Based Technique for Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

This article was originally published in Inc. Magazine.

When it comes to anxiety, we've got everything backwards.

Just consider the last time you felt a wave of raw fear minutes before a big presentation or a difficult conversation. If you're like most people, your first instinct was to say to yourself, "Stop freaking out. Calm down."

And yet, according to Harvard Business School professor Allison Wood Brooks, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Her research shows that shifting from anxiety, a...

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Stop Trying To Meditate Like a Monk: An Argument For Chaos Meditation

I’ve come to a sobering realization when it comes to my meditation practice:  I will never be an elite meditator.  

And that has led me to rethink the basic nature of mindfulness practice.

Here’s the context. In Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson’s latest book Altered Traits, which brings together the most cutting edge scientific research on the benefits of meditation, they conclude that the benefits of meditation are a function of the amount of time you spend doing...

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